|4.4 (3 votes):|
My first encounter with Telepathy was at Desertfest and the cosy confines of The Devonshire Arms – or simply The Dev to regulars. With four stages sprawled across north London to fill, some of the hirsute hordes who gather annually for this stoner and metal pilgrimage – although sadly not this year of course – bypass the traditional Camden boozer in preference for more heralded venues such as the iconic Roundhouse, Electric Ballroom or the subterranean lair of the appropriately named Underworld.
When I was holed up in darkest Camden for Desertfest a couple of years ago I somehow navigated my way to The Dev, and once secured inside the venue somehow shuffled my way to the front of the stage, although perhaps that is a slightly over elaborate description of what in reality was little more than a small step.
But boy was I glad I did as it gave me an up close and personal introduction to the Essex evangelists who delivered a quite breath-taking set of instrumental ingenuity that expunged both ferocity and fragility in roughly equal measure. So to reacquaint myself with Telepathy’s transcendent talent in the form of their new album Burn Embrace is an opportunity not to be passed over lightly.
The album, their first via Svart Records, consists of seven songs strewn across a 45 minute soundscape that engage with most of your emotions and even introduce you to a few that you probably didn’t even know you had. Songs such as the shuddering “Pariah” and “The Void in Aimless Flight” are beasts that poke and stir, building up the tension one minute then holding you as though suspended in mid-air the next.
This is the band’s third album since they formed, with three Polish brothers, in 2012 (one has since departed) since when they have supported the likes of Solstafir and Saint Vitus and graced festival stages such as the previously mentioned Desertfest and the jewel of the Netherlands,’ Roadburn.
On Burn Embrace they reassert their credentials as post metal masters while their sound is sufficiently broad to also encapsulate elements of sludge and occasionally doom. Bossk have in recent years been pioneers of immersive instrumental soundscapes although they do of course occasionally create openings for vocal interventions.
To try and pin labels on Telepathy is on the whole an exercise in futility, their music is to be enjoyed, not over analysed like a scientific experiment. In many ways that is the essence of the spirit of the album which sonically attempts to peel back the lid on those who simply don’t fit in, of which the track “Pariah” is the prime example.
“Sorrow Surrenders it’s Crown” has Telepathy almost scratching their own eyes out and the desperate animalistic cries add a further haunting quality without seriously jeopardising the band’s reputation as instrumentalists.
The more sombre title track at least brings the album to something approaching a gentle landing, although background screeches again provide a disconcerting backdrop, even if this time the main thread is less threatening while still in possession of some haunting grooves.
If ever a band is well named it is Telepathy. The quartet are in step throughout, displaying the kind of military precision that would have a Sergeant Major purring on the parade ground if exhibited by his troops. Even without a singer this album opens its heart and speaks to you.
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